is the largest organ of the human body

keeps out infection

the air and sun’s harmful rays

subject to pin-pricks, papercuts and politics

…sometimes I’m surprised

by the number of dark holes that have appeared

like memories upon my skin

not freckles, but moles

am I more fragile now or have I just lived enough years

to hold memory on this body

there is so much surface to cover, a canvas wide enough

to tell a lifetime upon it

the integumentary system contains layers

of overlapping cells

skin condemns the wearer

to all kinds of assumptions

it can be deadly, in the wrong place–cancer

isn’t the skin’s only danger

my mother complains about the spots appearing

now on the back of her hands, but

they remind me of her playing the piano

pushing a lawnmower

skins are what we build to hold

stories inside of them, and I want

to read what’s written across your shoulders

like Braille bumps to blind fingers, seeking…